Presentation on theme: "Church History Part 2 400- 1300 CE. The Canon of the NT The Canon is the arrangement of the books of the New Testament These books were written by several."— Presentation transcript:
The Canon of the NT The Canon is the arrangement of the books of the New Testament These books were written by several authors over a large number of years, flesh and blood Christians in several locations Nowhere in the New Testament is there a list of what books should be in it. So, WHO decided what should be included? (there were several “books” that were not included)
History of the NT It took 334 years (367 CE/AD) for the “final” order of books to be be decided upon. (Imagine if our constitution had taken that long to finish, we still would not have one !) In 367 AD, a Bishop in Alexandria, Egypt named Athanasius was the first to put together the current order and set of books comprising the NT. How did this come about?
The first edition The first person we know of who tried to establish a New Testament canon was the second-century heretic, Marcion. He wanted the Church to reject its Jewish heritage, and in so doing dispense with the Old Testament entirely. Marcion’s canon included only one Gospel, which he himself edited, and ten of Paul’s epistles. That’s it!
Disputes A few issues regarding the books to be included were: 1. The Eastern Church did not want Revelation to be included 2. The Western Church did not want the book of Hebrews. The Western Church did not care for the Gospel of John There were several Gospels to choose from, including the ones according to the Hebrews, Egyptians, Thomas, Peter, Philip, and Mary.
Councils were convened to decide The Council of Laodicea, which met in Asia Minor, around A.D. 363. This council stated that only canonical books of the Old and New Testaments should be used in the Church. It forbade reading other books in Church. It enumerated the canonical books of our present Old and New Testaments, with the exception of the Apocalypse of Saint John. This is the first council which clearly listed the canonical books. Its decisions were widely accepted in the Eastern Church.
One more….. The Third Council of Carthage, which met in North Africa, around A.D. 397.This Council, attended by Augustine, provided a full list of the canonical books of both Old and New Testaments. The 27 books of the present day New Testament were accepted as canonical. It also held that these books should be read in the Church as Divine Scripture to the exclusion of all others. This Council was widely accepted as authoritative in the West.
The Fifth Century This era began with a definite split between the Eastern (Greek-speaking) Church and its Western (Latin speaking) counterpart. The disputes had mostly to do with disagreements over the divine nature of Jesus and how to deal with Mary’s role and how to look at her relationship with God and Jesus. This era also saw the close of the “Age of the Fathers” of the Christian Church
Political events that shaped the church…. In the West, Rome was attacked successfully by several tribes. The Visigoths, the Vandals, and the Huns. These events weakened the political power of the Pope and they had to switch from a moral guide to a defending army. Pope Leo 1, a brave man, was able to persuade Geneseric the Vandal to “only” plunder Rome and not destroy it, and he dissuaded Attila the Hun from Attacking Roma at all.
The Good news One good thing is that the Church managed to convert many of the conquerors during the next two centuries !
412: Pelagius influence Pelagius was a British Monk who denied that man was corrupted by Original Sin and did not need God’s Grace to avoid sin, but only had to use Jesus as a model to avoid sin. The Western Church rejected this because it made salvation primarily dependent on human effort instead of God’s grace. St Augustine went the other way completely. Many theologians felt a compromise was the best way to look at it. (Council of Orange 529, decided that human cooperation was needed to accept God’s grace)
And in the East….. Politically stable during this era, so had time to focus on Theological questions. The Bishop of Constantinople, Nestorius and the Bishop of Alexandria, Cyril disagreed over whether we should call Mary the “Mother of God” because it would confuse people and cause problems in their thoughts. This was settled during the Council of Ephesus in 431 by declaring that Mary was the mother of a person, Jesus, who was both God and man.
Byzantine Theology The Eastern Church developed a rich theology during this era and blended Greek philosophy from Aristotle with quotations from the Bible to create a living Church which created meaningful ways to worship emphasizing holiness and spiritual mystery which continues to the present day.
6 th Century St Benedict 480-547 Send to Rome as a young man to study. Became a gifted debater/speaker. Felt called to a holy life and gave up his worldly possessions and went to study under a hermit monk Romanus. After years there, word of Benedict’s holiness spread and people came to him to study, but he told them he would be too strict !
Subaico Benedict set up 12 Monasteries of twelve monks each in Subaico so that they could live a religious life and do God’s work. There, they created the beginnings of the “ Divine Office ” - The prayers at different times of day (usually from Psalms) where all work ceased and devotion was given to God. This practice continued in Abbeys and Monasteries worldwide. (eg: Vespers, Matins, Lauds, Prime, Compline,)
Rival Monks Unfortunately, Benedict became so popular that other hermit monks lost students to him and they became envious to the point at they tried to poison him and he had to leave town !!
Key Popes of the 6 th Century John 1…..First pope to change his name Pelagius 1….First Pope to be appointed by the Emperor…
Pope Vigilius Pope Vigilius is widely considered one of lowest points in the papacy. He appears to have designed his entire career around the goal of becoming pope - something he nearly achieved when Pope Boniface II chose him to be his successor. Unfortunately for Vigilius, this decision resulted in a great deal of opposition and the choice had to be rescinded. Boniface's actual successor, Pope Agapetus I, appointed Vigilius to be the papal representative at Constantinople. Here Vigilius met Empress Theodora and the two began to conspire with each other. Theodora was anxious to get revenge for the setbascks suffered by supporters of the Monophysite heresy and Vigilius was anxious to eventually become pope. Theodora promised to support his bid to become pope and to provide large sums of money if, in exchange, Vigilius promised to support Theodora's doctrinal causes.
Cont…. After Agapetus died, Vigilius headed to Rome to take what he believed was rightfully his. During this time Silverius had been elected pope due to the influence of the Goths. However, once in Rome, Vigilius and the Byzantine commander Belisarius received letters from Theodora explaining the situation and Belisarius proceeded to use his military forces to depose Silverius. After that, military and Byzantine pressure caused Vigilius to be elected pope. Unfortuantely for Silverius, he was put into Vigilius' care and died due to the harsh treatment he had to endure - but it was only after Silverius' death that Vigilius was universally acknowledged as pope by the Christian clergy.
7th Century Pope Gregory the Great (later canonized). Took control of Italy and saved it from destruction at the hands of the Lombards. He sent a Benedictine monk, Augustine to England to spread the word of Christianity and attract converts. Augustine became the first bishop of Canterbury. In the East, the Bishops meeting at the third ecumenical council of Constantinople, concluded that Jesus did not have just one will. He had to have both Divine and Human will.
Islam starts Mohammed died in 632. His followers were growing in might and numbers. They threatened to invade Europe. Eastern Christian forces at Constantinople in 678, and again in 718, along with Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours (France) in 732 repelled the Islamic attacks and kept Islamic forces from conquering portions of Europe.